Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


There are 2 entries for this date: Nora Ephron and Lorraine Hansberry
Nora Ephron

Nora Ephron

On this date in 1941, Nora Ephron was born in New York City. She attended Wellesley College, and graduated in 1962. Shortly after graduation, she began writing for the New York Post, and worked for that publication for five years. She went on to write a column for Esquire on women's issues. In 1983, her first film, which she was a screenwriter for, "Silkwood," a movie about a labor union activist starring Meryl Streep, came out. Ephron wrote, produced or directed over 15 movies, including "When Harry Met Sally. . . " (1989), "Sleepless in Seattle" (1993), "You've Got Mail" (1998), and "Julie and Julia" (1998). Ephron was a leader in the romantic comedy genre. She received numerous awards including a BAFTA for Best Original Screenplay for "When Harry Met Sally..." in 1989, and was nominated for many more awards including several Oscars and Golden Globes. Ephron is also the author of several humorous books, novels and collections of essays, including "Heartburn" (1996), "Wallflower at the Orgy" (2007), "I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts on Being a Woman" (2008), and "I Remember Nothing: And Other Reflections" (2011). Ephron's plays include "Lucky Guy," which premiered posthumously on Broadway in March 2013 starring Tom Hanks. Ephron had spent years researching the real journalist the play is based on.

Ephron was known for her sense of humor, quick wit, and enjoyment of cooking. She worked closely with her sister, Delia Ephron on much of her work. Ephron had a famous, short-lived marriage with Watergate reporter Carl Bernstein (inspiring her novel, "Heartburn"). She had two sons, Max and Jacob, with Bernstein. She was married to her third husband Nicholas Pileggi, for over 20 years and was with him until she died. D. 2012.

 

"My mother was not one to go in for superstition or miracles — godlessness was for her a form of religion, a belief in self-sufficiency above all else . . . "

—— Jacob Bernstein, speaking about his mother Nora Ephron, in The New York Times article, “Nora Ephron’s Final Act.” March 6, 2013

Compiled by Sarah Eucalano

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Lorraine Hansberry

Lorraine Hansberry

On this date in 1930, Lorraine Hansberry was born in Chicago, the daughter of civil rights activists and intellectuals. Her play, "A Raisin in the Sun" (1959), the first drama by a black woman to be produced on Broadway and winner of the New York Drama Critics' Circle Award, was loosely based on her own experiences. When she was eight, her parents bought a house in a white neighborhood, where Lorraine witnessed a racist mobbing, and her parents' resulting civil rights case. She studied at the University of Wisconsin for two years, then moved to New York to become a writer, working as an associate editor of Paul Robeson's "Freedom." She married Robert Nemiroff in 1953, whom she met on the picket line while protesting discrimination at New York University. Hansberry divorced her husband in 1964.

Hansberry selected the title of her play from a line in a poem by Langston Hughes: "What happens to a dream deferred? Does it dry up like a raisin in the sun, Or does it explode?" Sidney Poitier starred in both the play and film version. The play's central protagonist is Beneatha, an eager young woman determined to fight social convention and go to medical school. Beneatha is a "self-avowed" atheist (who gets slapped by her mother for admitting it). Hansberry wrote "The Drinking Gourd," commissioned by the National Broadcasting Co., in 1959. About the American slave trade, it was considered too hot for television and was never produced. Her play, "The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window" (1964), was about a Jewish intellectual. It played on Broadway while Hansberry was being hospitalized for the cancer that cut her life short at age 34. "To Be Young, Gifted, and Black" was posthumously adapted from her writings and was produced off-Broadway in 1969, also appearing in book form (1970). D.1965.

Compiled by Annie Laurie Gaylor

© Freedom From Religion Foundation. All rights reserved.

Freethought of the Day

Would you like to start your day on a freethought note? "Freethought of the Day" is a daily freethought calendar brought to you courtesy of the Freedom From Religion Foundation, highlighting birthdates, quotes, and other historic tidbits.

If you would like to be placed on the "Daily Freethought" e-mail list to automatically receive the calendar notice, log in and edit your email settings (My Membership). Or, email  This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  and include your first and last name with your request for verification purposes. This email service is limited to members of the Freedom From Religion Foundation or subscribers to Freethought Today. To become an FFRF member, click here.


FFRF is a non-profit, educational organization. All dues and donations are deductible for income-tax purposes.

FFRF has received a 4 star rating from Charity Navigator

 

FFRF privacy statement

AAI-LOGO

FFRF is a member of Atheist Alliance International.